How do Reflective Pallet Covers Work?
Reflective pallet covers are usually made up of a few core components all working together to shield the items inside from irregular temperatures. In addition to specially-designed sheets that are usually made of plastic or foam, the covers also include metalized films that act as reflective material.
To this end, these covers are designed with two goals in mind: minimizing the transfer of heat outside the pallet and preserving the temperature inside. In normal situations, radiant heat from sunlight exposure (for just one example) could be absorbed by a traditional pallet cover or other packaging materials, quickly causing the temperature of the associated items to rise in an unpredictable way. The right pallet cover, however, can stop this from happening no matter what is going on in the environment around it.
Even in situations where a pallet of goods may be exposed to direct sunlight, reflective pallet covers block radiant heat entirely - allowing the condition of the goods inside the pallet to be unaffected regardless of the temperature in the surrounding environment.
Extreme temperatures are one of the natural enemies of a wide range of different products. In the case of pharmaceutical goods, for example, allowing the temperature to get too high could alter the chemical composition of something like medicine, causing it to lose effectiveness or possibly to not work at all. In the case of fruits and vegetables, heat could artificially limit their lifespan - leading to a pallet of food that arrives at its destination in such poor condition that it needs to be disposed of right away.
The Major Benefits of Reflective Pallet Covers
By far, the number one benefit of using reflective pallet covers comes down to the superior temperature control capabilities they provide. Certain items that are shipped like food, flowers, pharmaceuticals and more could be harmed or totally damaged if they're allowed to heat to beyond a certain temperature. Unfortunately, due to the way that shipping facilities operate, you can't guarantee that a particular pallet will stay out of direct sunlight all day long.
With a reflective pallet cover, however, these concerns can be eliminated because they're specifically designed to block radiant heat in the first place. This is especially true when you're talking about items that are shipped in steel containers, as the heat absorbed by the metal can cause the temperature to rise to extreme levels very quickly.
By blocking radiant heat, reflective pallet covers can help preserve a safe temperature for the aforementioned types of perishable items and more, guaranteeing that they arrive at their destination as safely as possible every time.
Thanks P.G for sharing your project with us. P.G’s shop is in Central Florida, West of Orlando and was not insulated. With a metal roof, this wood framed building was unbearable in the summer months. P.G. was looking for a tough radiant barrier so we sent down samples of our InfraStop IR radiant barrier, the heaviest and toughest product on the market today.
Take a look at his project pictures he was kind enough to share with us. We checked back with P.G. after the install to see how our insulation was reflecting the Florida heat and here is what he had to say. You won’t believe the temperature difference is his shop.
InsulationStop: Regarding the insulation, how is everything working out? Do you notice a difference?
P.G: The installation process was smooth and easy. The product has made a huge difference for us. Our building has seen a 30 degree temperature drop. I am very pleased! Thank you, P.G
Thanks again for being a customer of ours and sharing your project. We really appreciate your business and feedback.
Yes but no. You should certainly use foil facings and fiberglass insulation. But do you want to purchase it as just one product? Maybe not if you are watching your budget.
Foil facings applied to fiberglass insulation although still very common as duct wrap insulation are not as common for standard construction use as they were in this home built in the late 1980's. Check out the pictures below.
We recently set out to find the material and get an idea of what it costs. What we found is that you can still get it in home centers as a special order item typically in pallet quantities.
When we researched cost we were shocked to find out how much the difference was between foil faced, kraft faced, or the unfaced varieties. We did our calculations on about 1,000 square feet.
Basically in all cases, buying unfaced fiberglass and purchasing a standalone radiant barrier saves a lot of money as compared to purchasing the foil faced fiberglass as one product. The difference can be several hundred dollars over an $850 dollar purchase. It's clear the fiberglass companies get a premium for using kraft and foil facings.
Another benefit is when you purchase radiant barriers separately you can find people like ourselves that specialize in the products, ensuring you are getting top quality products. The amount of technical information available for the foil facings on the fiberglass was also very limited.
Thank you H.J. for submitting pictures of your indoor riding ring. This beautiful post and frame building has a metal roof and side walls. The roof is insulated with InfraStop® double bubble white foil insulation giving an excellent radiant barrier to the exterior and clean white finish to the interior. The decorative trusses look great. We wish you good luck with your building and horses!
How does a radiant barrier work? Will reflective insulation work in my barn? What is an interior radiation control coating?
All of these questions and more can be answered by reading RIMA's handbook, Understanding and Using Reflective Insulation, Radiant Barrier, and Interior Radiation Control Coatings. RIMA or the Reflective Insulation Manufacturer's Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the research, knowledge and use of reflective insulation, radiant barriers, and IRCC's.
This is the third update to this handbook since its introduction in 1999. The handbook is designed to provide users with a working knowledge for using reflective materials. Readers can understand the concepts and terminology of reflective insulation and discover the physics of reflective technology as well as learn about the different materials, applications, and installation procedures between the different technologies.
Whether you are looking to add a radiant barrier to your attic, insulate your basement wall, or work with radiant barrier paint (IRCC), this handbook is an important read for anyone who wants to better understand reflective insulation.
When insulation works well, no one notices it. So it's not always top of mind when homeowners think of improvements and renovations. Still, there are many reasons to replace, upgrade or enhance insulation.
New Materials that Meet Higher Standards
Insulation in older homes, especially those built before 1980, usually fails to meet current recommendations for slowing heat flow through a building (manufacturers report this as the R-value on insulation materials).
Fiberglass remains the most common insulation material, but modern installations use fiberglass tailored to provide an R-value for the home's climate, and designed to prevent air leaks that can make it more expensive to heat or cool a home. Installing upgraded fiberglass can help homeowners save between 5 and 50 percent on energy costs, depending on how efficient the previous insulation was.
Recycled materials can provide similar effective insulation, and many homeowners appreciate the chance to install a green material in their homes. Denim, hemp and wool scraps from manufacturing are the most common recycled insulation materials.
Cellulose-based insulating materials are made from soybeans and other plants. Cellulose is a flexible and easy to install material, since it can be found in both standard and spray-on versions.
Polystyrene and similar plastics have made a name for themselves among insulating materials. Remarkably efficient, these premium insulation products offer high R-values with the convenience of spray-on applications that can help place the material in hard to reach corners of attics and roofs.
Reflective materials, designed to complement existing insulation, are described in more detail below.
Improved Installation Methods
Not only do homeowners and contractors have a choice of materials, they now have additional flexibility in how to apply many of the materials.
Blanket installation is quick and easy, perfect for do-it-yourselfers. This technique does have a couple of drawbacks however. Compressing the material to fit into tight spaces can reduce the efficiency, and the blanket sheets may not fit into tight corners or around structural supports.
Applying loose-fill materials provides a better fit than the blanket technique. It's vitally important to apply materials consistently and to the correct depth, however, so this method is best left to professionals.
Spray-on plastics can serve as a complete insulation, or be used in difficult areas where blanket or loose-fill techniques don't provide effective cover. Spray on insulation provides the tightest seal against air and moisture, so it helps block air and water leaks, as well as retain heat.
Reflective systems, or radiant barriers, add another layer of insulating protection, working in tandem with other materials. In summer, for instance, outside heat is absorbed by the insulating material in walls. Over time though, heat trapped by insulating material will warm up the air around it, and hotter air will gradually flow into the cooler air of the home. As a result, indoor temperatures rise and cooling systems have to work harder. The same process takes place in reverse during winter, as warm inside air flows to the cooler air outdoors.
Reflective systems represent the next step in efficient insulation. Radiant heat reflects off the surface, so the underlying insulation does not warm as quickly. Rather than slowing heat flow, radiant barriers prevent a significant amount of heat from entering a building at all. Reflective insulation can help keep a building at a comfortable temperature and reduce energy use whether it uses central air, air conditioning or fans.
This customer was interested in increasing his energy efficiency in his truss built attic in Newport, North Carolina. He choose InfraStop® IS for the 24" width which made it easy to install the insulation from the ridge to the eaves while going truss to truss. As you look at the pictures you will also notice HVAC duct lines running in the attic. This is very commonplace in certain areas of the country that are not prone to freezing temperatures. Notice the reflective duct wrap on the lines as this is definitely qualifies as an unconditioned attic space.
The customer also upgraded and used spray foam insulation on the attic floor to replace the few inches of blown in fiberglass that was there from years before. The new attic, properly insulated with both a radiant barrier and conductive/convective heat stopping spray foam insulation is certainly much more efficient and will make the home more comfortable in both the heating and cooling seasons. Read more details on the temperature change noticed by the customer by clicking on the picture to see all the pictures pertaining to this project.
As an owner, I always find it rewarding to see our material or its variants used in the field. I find it even better to see it used correctly in applications where there is some controversy.
So what's the controversy you ask? There is a myth that radiant barriers do not work in northern climates and there are a fair number of discussions around the internet to this point. Is there any truth to this? Well yes, in a way.
While it is true that radiant barriers decrease their effectiveness the higher North in latitude you go, this statement requires some background information. The radiant barrier in this case is an attic radiant barrier. I agree that the further North your home or building is, the less of the impact from the overhead sun. This is why someone would say radiant barriers do not work in northern climates. Essentially they are measuring the return on investment in a cold climate versus a hot climate and in most attic applications in Canada and Alaska they would be right. The return on investment would be low.
However, attic radiant barriers are only a fraction of the places reflective insulation is successfully installed. In the North, you find reflective insulation and radiant barriers used in basements, crawlspaces, metal buildings, barns, and for duct wrap insulation.
What does all of this have to do with the show Ultimate Survival Alaska? As a backpacker and hiker I have found myself watching and enjoying this show more and more. If you don't know Ultimate Survival Alaska on Discovery Channel, it is a show about a group of outdoorsmen. There are 8 of them and each episode they break into 2-3 man groups and have 72 hours to complete a certain objective in the wild wilderness of Alaska, surviving on only their pack and meager food supplies. At the end of the 72 hours, a plane comes to pick up the 8 man group and they travel to a new area and complete another objective the next episode. If they don't make the "LZ" or landing zone as they call it, they will be left in the wilderness.
In a recent episode, one of the groups runs into a backcountry cabin in the middle of nowhere while traversing to their pickup point. They meet the owner, a homesteader who has been living completely off the grid, in the wild for the last 7 years. Upon entering the homesteader's cabin, the show's commentator notes that all of the interior walls are wrapped in radiant barrier. He terms the material aluminum insulation, which it is also called by.
This is where the myth is debunked that radiant barriers do not work in northern climates. This guy is way up in Alaska, living year round, with his only heat source being a wood stove in a backcountry cabin. Wood stoves emit a tremendous amount of radiant heat. So what does this survivalist choose to insulate his dwelling with? Why radiant barrier of course, the only insulation that blocks the transfer of radiant heat. This homesteader is smart and he is successfully using reflective insulation in a specific application despite the frigid, northern climate.
I share this because it is a striking example of reflective insulation being used in an area where some claim that it does not work. What critics really should be saying is that reflective insulation works but not as well in an attic application in a northern climate. This would require detail which is generally sorely lacking in critical opinions. The survivalist is successful because he is using the material on the inside of his walls to keep heat in not keep heat out, as one would do in attics for southern or tropical climates.
If you are confused about reflective insulation and where to best install the insulation in your home or building give us a call, we would enjoy helping you. We have seen reflective insulation used successful in hundreds of applications. We even carry radiant barriers and bubble foil insulation for use in the pristine wilderness of Alaska come to find out.
Foil insulation is used everywhere from agricultural buildings to barns to packaging and transportation. This list is endless. If you want a full list of applications for foil insulation, click the link to see more.
InfraStop® insulation has advantages over other brands. As we always say, reflective foil insulation is not created equal. First, our products are all made in the United States. We don't deal with imports. This means everything is tested to the highest of ASTM standards.
There are advantages to buying reflective insulation from Insulation Stop as well. We make products to order. This means there are no products sitting around in an overstocked warehouse. If product changes occur or code requirements and testing methods change, InfraStop® products are available immediately and in line with industry changes.
We are the only supplier that can offer a full line of product sizes for all applications whether large or small. Our custom size ability allows for simpler and faster installs in large projects where specific sizing may be required. We compliment this flexibility by offering rolls in all configurations. Double and single bubble foil is available in both foil/foil and foil/white options. And don't forget about our multi-layered concrete pad for a vapor barrier and low cost thermal break for use under concrete slabs and around foundation walls.
Whether shopping for Ecofoil, Prodex, Reflectix, AtticFoil, RadiantGuard, or any of the other reflective insulation brands on the market, make sure you have compared them to InfraStop®. Get foil insulation samples here to ensure you are buying the best. Please specify the product type you are interested in from our large selection.
And if you already know the size and configuration you are looking for, you can find your product within seconds using our easy search page to shop foil insulation.
All products are not created equal. Neither are suppliers. InfraStop® reflective insulation, sold by InsulationStop is the best quality reflective foil insulation material available. Whether you have an application that needs a radiant barrier or our reflective bubble foil insulation, there is an InfraStop® product and size to fit.
InfraStop® is made here in the United States. All products meet or exceed ASTM testing for reflective insulation. This is important because an ever increasing amount of reflective insulation is coming in from China and surrounding areas where quality controls are not guaranteed. We have been able to keep a pricing advantage over even these products so price is not a criteria in your purchasing decision. You can comfortably buy the best.
Regarding distribution, there are many products sold online and sold by a variety of people and companies. In many cases you can purchase a product from a supplier who has no idea what they are selling. They can fulfill your order but nothing else.
At InsulationStop this is not the case. We combine over 70 years of engineering and building material experience, as well as 15 years specializing in radiant barrier and reflective foil insulation. We bring a wealth of information not only about the product and its applications but also about competitive products and information on even non-competitive insulation products to ensure you are getting the correct insulation package for your project.
We are also members of RIMA, the Reflective Insulation Manufacturer's Association. As far as we know we are the only online supplier of reflective insulation that is a member of RIMA.Â This is an important distinction.
We are committed to supplying you the best products available at the best possible prices. We appreciate your business and thank you for shopping at the InsulationStop, your leader in radiant barrier and reflective foil insulation products.